I've not been on this site for probably about 10 years. I stayed away. I had therapy, I stopped self-harming, I take medication for my depression and anxiety. I've gone through university and got my dream job. I got married. I bought a house.
I've been with my husband for coming up to 10 years. There's always been a nagging feeling that something was wrong, and I've felt like he's been gaslighting me for years. But over lockdown, things have got worse. I guess I'm fully separated from everyone now - I don't get to see my friends and I have no contact with most of my family, after a big argument.
Whenever we argue, it becomes a huge personal issue. He's insulting and nasty. He always calls me stupid and lazy. He blames everything on me and says I'm doing it on purpose to make him angry. He denies any wrongdoing and tells me I'm making things up or imagining things. He makes sure that after an argument, I can't hide away in any room. I prefer to recover from something by being alone, but he walks in and out of every room 'doing housework' to make sure that I can't relax and then makes comments about how lazy I'm being. He threatens to kick me out, knowing that, especially during lockdown, I have nowhere to go. He threatens to take the dog away. We're staying in a holiday cottage in the middle of nowhere at the minute, and he threatened that if I didn't apologise, he would go home and leave me here - without a car or any way of getting home myself.
I don't know what I'm expecting from this post. The advice, I know, is to leave him, but I can't and I don't really want to. When we get on, we're really good friends, and we have so much fun. But when things go wrong, they're disastrous. I'm always torn between having a great life and walking on eggshells.
This sounds like a really tricky situation and his behaviour does certainly seem abusive. In the bits when you get on well, does he in any way acknowledge how controlling his behaviour can be?
Are you still able to have contact (video call etc) with your friends even if you can't meet them in person? What do they say about this?
It sounds like you achieved an awful lot since you were last on this site and weathered many difficult storms. Don't let your husband make you doubt your strength, resilience and bravery.
We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them.
Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonising each other,
we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best. ~ Jodi Picoult
This certainly sounds like an abusive relationship, but I know it's not as simple as 'just leaving' at the best of times, let alone during this pandemic.
Don't believe the things he says about you. Like pi.R^2 said, you are strong and have achieved so much. He'll likely want you to believe you're weak and useless because then you will be easier to control. You're clearly a strong person, don't forget that.
I know what it can be like when the good times are great but the bad times are awful. You cling to those good times; but this post shows you're starting to pay more attention to the bad times, and that's no bad thing. Right now you don't feel you can leave him, and that's ok. There will always be somewhere for you to go if it did ever get to the point where you did want to leave, even if it means going to a shelter or to your local council (if you're in the UK) who can help to house you, and the CAB can help with the practical legal issues.
If you need to have time to yourself after an argument, could you just leave for a walk, or make up an errand to run so you can get out of the house?
If you can, try to keep in contact with your friends through messages and phone calls as much as possible. I don't know if you've told any of them about the situation with your husband, but if you do feel able to, they can be an invaluable source of support for you.
Hi, I'm so sorry you are going through all this. I note you don't want to leave him, the other option is to work on the relationship. Be honest with him about how you are feeling and ask him to commit to therapy/counselling as you want to work it out. Some say you shouldn't ask someone to change but that goes both ways. He shouldn't try to manipulate you into someone other than he first met. Maybe a period of separation might help, book an air BnB and tell him you want space and then plan meetings in public places to see if you can rekindle what you first felt for each other. Get legal advice so you don't feel rushed into any decision.
Mand, South Wales, Full-time working, single mother to 2 scarily independent girls.
I AM A PROUD PLUMERIA SISTER
You are not alone, and there are so many people out there who can help. Being prepared helped me. I left in July, 2 kids under 6 with me; and honestly, even with all the mess, its still the best decision I ever made. And the reason it is, is because I put me and my mental health first for the first time in a long time.
Things are harder in qlit of ways right now, but the feelings of self harm and general awfulness and few and far between since I left and I broke the manipulation cycle.
Whatever you decide to do; there is so much help and support out there, and no judgement. Womens aid was a really useful resource for me, and can be hidden from your Internet searches too. Has lots of practice advice and people you can talk to who can help you work your way through no matter if you stay or not.
Please reach out 😘
Lots of love xxxx
Hunni why you calling me, so late, its kinda hard to talk right now,
hunni why you crying, is everything ok, i gotta wisper, cuz i cant be too loud
welll, my girls in the next room,
sometimes i wish it was you,
i guess we never really moved on,
its really good to hear your voice say my name,
it sounds so sweet, coming from the lips of an angel